I realize I’ve been kind of missing in action over the last several weeks; and the reason is that I’ve been spending pretty much all of my free time working on George’s Saga with my sons. George’s Saga is a computer RPG with simple, old-fashioned graphics that I’m doing mostly for fun as a Java programming project. It’s come an amazing way in the last three weeks; and there’s lots more work to be done before we’ll have something that anybody else would be interested in playing. But I’m having a ball, and learning a whole lot at the same time.
George’s Saga is rather different from Ramble, another incomplete RPG I wrote a few years ago. Ramble was primarily influenced by Angband and other “Rogue-like” RPGs; it used small graphical tiles, had a single player character, and was keyboard-driven in an Angband-like way. George’s Saga, by contrast, is point-and-click mouse-driven, with multiple player characters and larger graphical tiles. From a user-interface perspective, it draws heavily on Avernum: Escape from the Pit, which I played on my iPad a month or two ago; I enjoyed Avernum very much, and the user interface was a big part of it. From a graphics perspective, it’s reminiscent of the original Ultima series of games, especially Ultima III, though with more colors and bigger tiles. From a humor perspective, it’s probably going to resemble the DragonQuest series more than anything else.
At this point it’s very much a work-in-progress. There is no story to speak of as yet. There are two player-characters, George (a farmer) (that’s him, up there, as drawn by my eldest) and Sir Fred (a knight). There’s an overworld map with a number of castles, none of which have anything inside them; a small town (which I only implemented today) filled with people who won’t talk to you, not because they are unsocial but because conversations aren’t implemented yet; and two small dungeons implemented mostly as a place to experiment with monsters. (Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.) The player characters can wear armor and wield weapons, including ranged weapons, but the combat system isn’t even a quarter baked. (On the other hand, ranged attacks are nicely animated.) They can also loot chests and carry items, but there aren’t that many items for them to find or carry.
So, early days.
I expect that George is going to occupy my time for a while yet; I might have more to say about him over the coming days or weeks.